Wednesday, June 22, 2011

E. Laura Golberg: Larry Neal Poetry Award

I must write this quickly, before I lose my high from winning first place in the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities Larry Neal Poetry Award. I won it while I was toiling in my own Slough of Despond. I had decided, after being published several times in small magazines, to take a step upward and send my work to nationally-known high-profile poetry journals. Then the rejections really came rolling in. OK, I did receive a This is not your usual rejection from Agni and You’re out of the slush pile from Raintown Review, but no acceptances. But I did continue to send out poems and applied for Larry Neal just because it was there. So the Award has given me a new lease on my poetic life; new courage and self-confidence.

Early in my career as a poet, a colleague told me that I wrote stories about people. I was very surprised. But now I think he was right. The poem that won the award was a story about my mother. The most recent poem I had published, in 2010, was the story of my late uncle-in-law.

I was in the National Portrait Gallery last week which had an exhibit of Alexander Calder’s portraiture. Most of the work consisted of wire portraits of his friends and colleagues. The curator had written that Calder’s portraiture functioned as a biographical document, a form of communication, a token of appreciation, and gesture of love for his fellow artists, of art and life itself. I realized this is what I aim for, too.

E. Laura Golberg’s poetry has appeared in Perigee: Publication for the Arts, The Pedestal Magazine,, Innisfree Poetry Journal and the Birmingham Poetry Review, among other places. She has read her work at multiple venues in the Washington, DC metropolitan area, including Miller Cabin, The Takoma Park poetry series and Iota. This summer, Laura will be attending the Kenyon Review Poetry Workshop.

No comments: